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Innovative payroll solutions for all types of workers

Legislation determining payroll options for contingent workforces has changed dramatically in recent years culminating most recently with the Criminal Finances Act of 2017, which created the new corporate criminal offences of "failure to prevent" the facilitation of tax evasion. The correct engagement of contingent workers through a reliable and established payroll provider has never been more important.

Ship Shape has invested heavily in legal counsel and operating systems necessary to provide clients with flexible, cost effective and compliant options. We will analyse your direct workforce and contractor base to ensure you are using all options available to minimise labour costs and compliance risk.

Our most popular payroll services:


We provide an umbrella with a compliant, no Travel & Subsistence expenses model, at a market leading low margin from just £7.40 per week. We meet National Minimum Wage with an agency worker pay rate as low as £9.36 and unique worker benefits include a free mobile phone service.

Professional Employment Organisation (PEO):

Compliance assurance and transparency, no employment responsibility for agency or end hirer. Workers are employed by Ship Shape and we manage all employment administration/liabilities. The worker enjoys continuity of employment (for mortgage applications & pensions) and unbroken pay, compliance and tax records. Benefits such as free mobile phone service are also included.

Self-employment under CIS:

Bringing together extensive legal counsel, third party indemnity insurance (covering agencies) and operating systems capable of maintaining the required record keeping allows us to contract with the majority of self-employed workings operating under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) as self-employed and take responsibilities for these declarations. This provides extensive cost benefits to agencies and end-hirers in this industry and allows workers to operate with the traditional freedom and flexibility they prefer.

Limited Company:

The most tax efficient contract status for skilled, higher earnings on longer term contracts. Contractors are provided with a professional consultation and incorporation by Ship Shape Accounting (ICAEW). The full service costs just £79 + VAT per month including any set-up costs. A range of options such as Flat Rate VAT and IR35 indemnity insurance are available.

Direct Employment (PAYE):

Should you decide to employ your workers directly, Ship Shape can also operate a payroll and banking bureau for these workers. Our service maintains the comprehensive reporting that HMRC will require - and can demonstrate technology and compliance leadership to your clients. The cost for this service is a maximum of £2.99 per timesheet with scale discounts reducing that still further.

View or print our detailed service menu and examples margins/fees here.

You can rely on Ship Shape

  • Established in 2004 we have successfully provided payroll services for over 80,000 workers and reached an annual turnover of £85m in 2017.
  • We enjoy an enviable credit score of 98% and £410,000 recommended credit limit (Experian 2018).
  • Our payroll operations and legal/tax compliance have been verified by industry experts Saffrey Champness, Accountax and we have passed HMRC inspections in 2009, 2012, 2016 and 2018.
  • We are an approved supplier to TEAM and associate member of FCSA.
  • Ship Shape Accounting is a certified member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales (ICAEW) and IPSE.